YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Armenia’s Special Investigative Service (SIS) has searched the offices and private residence of former President Robert Kocharyan as part of its ongoing inquiry into the 2008 post-election unrest in Yerevan, it emerged on Monday, August 20.
The SIS spokeswoman, Marina Ohanjanian, gave no details of the operation when asked.
One of Kocharyan’s lawyers, Hayk Alumyan, said SIS investigators did not find anything that could shed more light on the dramatic events of February and March 2008. “I wasn’t there during the search and can’t give details,” Alumyan said. “I can only say that nothing significant for the case was found.”
The search was reported just hours before Armenia’s Office of the Prosecutor-General appealed Kocharyan’s release from custody which was ordered by the Court of Appeals on August 13.
The court ruled that the Armenian constitution gives the ex-president, who ruled the country from 1998 to 2008, immunity from prosecution for decisions made in his capacity as head of state. The SIS condemned the decision as “illegal” and urged prosecutors to appeal to the Court of Cassation.
Article 140 of the constitution says: “During the term of his or her powers and thereafter, the President of the Republic may not be prosecuted and subjected to liability for actions deriving from his or her status.”